Stanky Creek Trail, located near Memphis , Tennessee, is a heavily trafficked 14.5 kilometer loop trail with beautiful wild flowers and is graded as moderate. The trail provides a range of possibilities for operation and is available year-round. Dogs are capable of using this trail as well.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, there wasn’t much of a mountain biking scene in Memphis, until a few members of the Mid-South Trails Association (MSTA) took it upon themselves to return the sport to the region. They founded Stanky Creek Cycling (SCC), worked closely with the MSTA to build routes, and placed on the calendar a few now-beloved races. In July 2003, after a strong thunderstorm caused unprecedented damage to the area, SCC and MSTA members worked together to clean up and rebuild the area.
What Makes It Great
The close, twisty singletrack of Stanky Creek is some of the best and most difficult in Tennessee, and certainly in the region of Memphis. There are three loops on the trail system, which you can combine for up to an eight-mile loop. Less than two miles long, there is the Blue Track, which has a few brushy turns and some good-sized drops (the second is a doozy). The Yellow Trail clocks in at 2.2 miles and is the narrowest trail on the property—the SCC describes several sections as “tree pinball,” and warns that they’ll “leave the bowlegged bruised and the wide bar types swollen.” (Get ready for a creek crossing, too.)
The 6.5-mile White Track, the longest loop, will get your heart racing. The loop includes the one-mile Outhouse Trail, which locals consider to be one of the best in Memphis. There are plenty of ups and downs.
SCC holds many annual competitions, including a Summer Time Trial Series, SCC Herb Paxon’s XC Race in July, the Legend of Stanky Creek races (cross-country and time trial meets, held in mid-August), and the famous 12 Hours of Stank in September, if you are looking for any camaraderie or competitive spirit.
Who is Going to Love It
The Stanky Creek trails are the most technical around, where Memphis mountain bikers go to ride a friendly, high-quality single track (and visitors to the area). It is usually considered suitable for experienced beginners or intermediate riders, as technical singletrack goes, although it is experienced for the region and considerably more technical than most of its neighboring trips. There are plenty of dirt jumps and pumpy, narrow parts for the exceptionally adventurous. It won’t disappoint enthusiastic mountain bikers.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Located less than 15 miles east of Memphis in Nesbit Park, the City of Bartlett Parks Department operates the Stanky Creek trail system. Park at the south end of the park in the spacious lot and be sure to follow the directional signs, as all trails are one-way.
Memphis, Tennessee, is home to some gorgeous green, open spaces and parks for you to lose yourself in. Check out these others you shouldn’t miss:
- Shelby Farms Park
- Memphis Park
- Peabody Park
- Greenbelt Park
- Tom Lee Park
- Overton Park
- Martyrs Park
- Heroes Park
These amazing parks are located just down the street from our location at South Third Street across from The Southgate Shopping Center. Stop by for a visit anytime!